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When Geoff Moore, president and COO of Envy Gaming, decided to move into the esports space, he knew it was an area of untapped potential. With over 30 years in the sports and entertainment industry, he consulted on stadium design, revenue performance, and fan interaction for LOGE Capital Partners, a joint-venture with HKS Sports & Entertainment. Now, he has an entirely new challenge–creating a profitable product around Envy Gaming and its Activision Blizzard franchise team brands Dallas Empire and Dallas Fuel.
The central component of Moore’s philosophy is to find the core audience and entertain them.
“You [have] just got to find your core base, entertain them, please them, amaze them, and have them want to share that with people that are important to them,” Moore told The Esports Observer during the Dallas Fuel’s Overwatch League opening homestand. “You do that, and that core audience will bring other people.”
This philosophy was on display at the homestand, which took place from Feb. 8-9, at Esports Stadium Arlington, in Arlington, Texas. Aside from the competition venue, Dallas Fuel brought in a fan experience that catered to not just the hard-core esports fans, but amateur players, casual fans, and those that may not even know what esports competition is all about.
And one of those fan experience ideas saw Moore bring in a school district-wide tournament that saw over 700 people attend, playing games such as Fortnite and Super Smash Bros.
“We’re trying to do as much as we can, to get into as many different communities as we can and treat this like it’s a music festival opportunity,” Moore explained. “If you have Lollapalooza or Austin City Limits or something like that, you’ll have all these bands and they all attracted a little audience and you have these genres to attract more people.”
In conjunction with attracting a larger audience through reaching out to many smaller communities, Moore believes there are opportunities that can work side-by-side with that portion of the plan.
“Also you have the just massive bands, the number of stages that track more people. Then you have the experience of the venue or the place like Zilker Park or downtown Chicago. And then you start building your brand by having a great entertaining experience that you can repeat over time that people come to trust and count on him,” Moore explained.
However, getting to the point where you have a proven fan experience that reaches a multitude of audiences is a daunting task. Moore understands this and has taken lessons from The Art of War by Sun Tzu to that end.
“You really have to put yourself out there in a vulnerable position and do as many events as you can,” Moore said. “Like in the Art of War, if you want to put your army where it has to win, put it to where they’ll face death if they don’t. Right? If your army’s bottled up and the other can retreat and survive, you’ll be surprised about how they’ll retreat and survive while your army will fight hard because they know they have no place to retreat to.”
Not being able to retreat as it relates to the fan experience and monetization of venues during home matches means going all in, not holding back, and being accountable for the inevitable mistakes that will be made. As long as those mistakes aren’t fatal, which Moore admits some can be, learning comes at a much faster pace when doing more and putting yourself out there as a brand.
“That’s our strategy. And we’re at the very beginning of it,“ Moore said. “We are both excited and terrified at moments, but it’s been going great so far and we just really almost couldn’t be happier so far.”
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